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Some 175 miles of residential streets, about a quarter of the capital’s roads, already have 20mph limits.
Manchester is consulting on half the city being similarly covered, and 6,000 Edinburgh residents have signed a petition against a £2.2million scheme to make up to 80 per cent of the Scottish capital a 20mph zone.
Until now, lower speed limits have been restricted to smaller roads in residential areas or near schools.
But in a major policy shift, 20mph limits are to be introduced on major arterial roads – and policed by the latest digital speed cameras.‘There is a lot of fear among drivers that, with 20mph being a relatively unfamiliar speed, widespread speed camera use will make them look more at their speedometers than at what is happening on populated streets in front of them.’If the 18-month trials in London are judged a success, the 20mph limits will be made permanent and imposed on 30 miles of key ‘Red Routes’ considered by transport bosses to be ‘more local road than motorway’.
This led to motorists complaining that the cameras were being used as ‘cash cow’ revenue-raisers.
To defuse the controversy, the system was scrapped and all fines are paid directly to the Treasury, which in turn returns the cash as a general road safety grant to pay for cameras and ‘other measures’.
For the first time 20mph limits are being imposed on main arterial roads – not just quiet residential roads where there is little traffic.
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